ENGLEWOOD, CO—Ask Stonebridge Companies founder and CEO Navin Dimond about his start in the hospitality industry and he’ll admit he’s an accidental hotelier.
“I refer to it that way. It was not by design. My original intentions were more around other real estate—office, retail, warehouse, etc. Unfortunately, I really didn’t have any resources other than a drive to succeed and to find a way to live a better life than my parents and grandparents,” said Dimond on building a hotel development and management company.
Marking the company’s 25-year milestone, he credits his business’ success and longevity in the industry to “honesty, integrity and ethics—all layered with hard work. It’s simple. Do the right thing. You will know inside when it’s not right, then take the time to listen to the inner voice and correct it,” he explained.
Since its founding in 1991 by Navin and his wife Rita, the company has remained privately owned with a focus on hotel development and hospitality management. Stonebridge has a portfolio of more than 45 U.S. hotels, comprised of 7,000 guestrooms across numerous select-service, extended-stay, midscale and full-service hotel brands, which include Hilton, Marriott and IHG.
Stonebridge has taken an innovative approach to transforming properties into hotels through a number of adaptive-reuse projects. A former bank building in the city’s downtown was turned into the Renaissance Hotel; a local office building is now a dual-branded Homewood Suites and Hampton Inn & Suites; and a former apartment/boarding house called the Middletown Helmsley located on the East side of Manhattan has become a Residence Inn.
A strong moral compass and a willingness to do what’s needed has also helped Stonebridge Companies stand out in terms of service, and it’s a daily effort, explained Dimond.
“We are all about ‘distinguished hospitality.’ It’s what we strive to practice every day, and we build on the previous day’s work and experience,” he said. “It’s a continual and uninterrupted process. We take care of the guests every day. The real action is where the rubber meets the road; it’s with the customer who sleeps in your hotel.”
While Dimond is cognizant of the day-to-day work that helps his business continue to thrive, he’s watchful of trends and activity in the industry. Labor shortages and pricing are driving alternative forms of delivery, according to Dimond, which is where modular building has come into high demand.
“Modular buildings are sectional, prefabricated buildings that consist of multiple sections called modules. The module sections are constructed at an off-site, remote facility, then delivered to the intended site of use. Construction of the prefabricated sections are completed on-site,” he said. “Currently, we have one modular project under construction at Washington State University.”
While he’s tight-lipped on the specifics, Stonebridge’s future projects signal continued growth. “We have new projects in Boston; Washington, DC; Seattle; San Francisco; Denver; and Boulder, CO. The pipeline is very exciting,” he concluded. Stay tuned.